IBM Survey: Time Spent on Internet Now Rivals TV


IBM released a global consumer survey suggesting that people now spend as much or more time online as they do watching TV.  Specifically:

  • 19% said they spend 6+ hours a day online vs. only 9% who watch 6+ hours of TV.
  • 60% said they spend 1-4 hours a day online vs. 66% who watch 1-4 hours of TV

Other findings:

  • 81% have watched or want to watch PC video; 42% have watched or want to watch mobile video.
  • 23% use a portable music service (e.g., iTunes)
  • 7% have a video content subscription for their mobile phones;
  • 11% have a PC-based music service
  • 18% have an online newspaper subscription.  [Really?  Paid?  This seems very high.]

The survey also contained other bad news for traditional TV networks, in the form of DVR ownership, content consumption, and mobile video usage (especially in countries where it’s further advanced than in the U.S.)  DVRs:

  • 24% of U.S. respondents own a DVR and watch at least 50 per cent of TV on replay.
  • 33% reported watching more television content than before the DVR. [Do not jump to the conclusion that the networks want you to jump to here–that this 33% watch more ads.  Part of the joy of a DVR is that you can watch more TV without wasting more time watching TV–because you can skip the ads.]
  • More than twice as many U.K. consumers surveyed use video on demand services than own a DVR, and less than a third of U.K. consumers have changed their overall TV consumption as a result of DVR ownership.
  • In Australia, despite owning a DVR, most respondents prefer live television or replay less than 25% of their programming.

Social Networking and User-Generated Content:

  • 9% of German and 7% of U.S. respondents have contributed to a user-generated content site;
  • 26% of U.S. respondents reported contributing to a social networking site, vs UK (20%) and Japan (9%).
  • Australia topped all countries surveyed with 36% contributing to social networking sites and 9% contributing to video content sites.
  • Of those who contributed content, an average of 58% worldwide did so for recognition and community, not monetary gain.

Mobile Content:

  • In the UK, nearly a third of users who watch mobile TV reduced their standard TV set viewing patterns as a result of new mobile device services. 18% said they reduced “normal” television by a little and another 8% reduced “normal” television by a lot; 4% substituted television on their regular TV with their new device altogether.
  • For respondents in Germany who had watched mobile video, 23% prefer user generated content, and 21% prefer video trailers or promotions.

Full release and survey here.